I've done a lot of thinking and personal soul searching this summer, and I've definitely decided that I'm going to start focusing more on writing and other endeavors along those lines, with an eventual goal of moving out of the political world and into something I'm enjoying a lot more. This will no doubt take more than a couple of years to accomplish, but it's the road I've chosen to go down. That and eating soft-serve ice cream and battling high-blood pressure, at the same time. Just kidding, but it sets up the photo above which I'll talk about in a second. I need to do more writing -- I've got a long list of things I'd like to write about, to post on here, or to use for my column in Quick Throttle, as well as searching for other publishing outlets. Lord knows I'm always thinking of something and I've got notes and such scattered all over. I just need to get motivated to sit down and write. That's one of the reasons I've been doing a lot of "cleaning" this summer -- cleaning the office, the closets, the storage space, my friends and relationships, my mind -- all of which I hope will allow me to focus on writing and creating something people will enjoy reading. I'm slowly getting there.
An acquaintance of mine just started his own blog, and his first post went on about a writing exercise he did in college and that he's going to do for his blog -- and that's just sit and write for five minutes, just write, anything -- then spend five minutes revising and editing, and then publishing. I'll link it here, but be warned however that while this particular page is "safe", the rest of his blog does have adult content: raincityjack.tumblr.com/post/980405023/bones (Now for the rest of you left reading that didn't immediately navigate away to the adult content...) I'm not sure that's the route for me, but it does force one to be disciplined, and I don't know how creative that is, but I digress. That being said it's what might force me to finally go through all these writing ideas I have!
However, I did find an ancillary creative project that will I think enhance my writing. I've always loved taking photographs, and I think I manage to take a few pretty good ones on my road trips. My new I-phone 4 has an application called "Hipstimatic" that I downloaded, and it takes the phone's very high quality camera and turns it into a 21st century digital version of the old Kodak Instamatic camera. It's very cool, and the pictures are very evocative of a bygone era. I think they'd be perfect for illustrating some if not all of my road trips. I love how they make things look like they've been in an old family photo album for years, including the ice cream picture above.
When I'm out on the road and finding those intriguing and wonderful (to me) elements of the ghost-town of the old roads -- the old diner, the crumbling motel, the billboard, neon signs, and abandoned gas stations, I think this camera program will be a constant companion. Whether I create a book of these, or use them to illustrate my other road stories, or combine it all remains to be seen.
There's a combination of 6 different films and 7 different lenses that somehow creates the effect of these photos, all of which were taken in the last couple of weeks since I got the phone. I only wish that I could find a way to transform a lot of the pics I took on the Route 66 trip, but alas, this only apparently works with new pictures, and I'm not creative or patient enough to figure out how to do this -- if it's even possible -- with something like Adobe Photoshop. My good friend and fellow LJ buddy Chris ironchefpinoy
is a very talented photographer and graphic designer who teaches his craft in San Diego area colleges is very encouraging, both of my writing, and of the photographs. He's offered some great advice on the "Hipstamatic" project as I call it, saying it looks like it's "made for this project".
It was Tony who first turned me on to this program -- thanks! He knows what I like still.
Here's the link to my Facebook album with more Hipstamatic prints -- you can see the same subject with various lenses and films, though no where near the total combination of possibilities (there's 42). One of my first projects will be to do a single subject with all 7 lenses and 6 films to be able to make a comparison of each. www.facebook.com/album.php Let me know what you think.